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Poster Presentations for Beginners

Planning Your Poster

The following are general guidelines and suggestions. Always defer to your class or conference instructions when planning and designing your poster.


The total text displayed on your poster will include 3-4 pages of information or less than 1000 words. Edit and narrow down your information as much as possible and focus on the central points that you’re trying to communicate to your audience.


When deciding what information to include on your poster, your first question should be - who will my audience be? Are you presenting at an academic conference, a scientific conference, to fellow students and faculty who may or may not be familiar with your subject area? Keep your audience in mind when planning what to include in your presentation. If you are exhibiting your poster to a group that may not be familiar with your topic or field of study, stay away from using overly technical terms that not everyone will understand.



The following are typical headings that may be included on your poster. Only use the ones that make sense for your presentation.


Title - Your title should be clear and catchy. Not overly wordy, something to draw viewers over to your poster.

Author(s) - Author(s) name(s) should be displayed just below the title.

Introduction - A short summary of the question(s) that your research is exploring.

Materials/Methods - What materials and/or methods did you use to investigate your topic?

Analysis - A breakdown of your research topic/data.

Results - A summation of your discoveries. 

Conclusions - A brief exploration of the implications of your results.

Citations - Citations for all unoriginal elements of your presentation! Use one citation style (ex: MLA, APA, etc.).

Acknowledgments - Acknowledge those who helped you with your presentation - fellow classmates, colleagues, staff, professors, other professionals and any funding or other support. 

Contact/Further Information - Include your contact information so people can follow up with you after the presentation. Include your name, email address, affiliation and consider using a QR code for easy follow up.